How to prevent food poisoning

July 24, 2014 Whitney Carter, RN, BSN

Many of us are aware of the recent nationwide recall of peaches and other fruit due to the potential of bacterial contamination.  Although thankfully, no illnesses have been reported so far, I’d like to take this opportunity to refresh our knowledge about ways to avoid food borne illness or food poisoning.

According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food poisoning affects approximately 1 in 6 Americans every year. Often it results in relatively mild symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting that resolve within a day or so. However, food poisoning can also lead to more dangerous and even deadly outcomes, which is why food safety is so important! 
So how should we protect our family from food borne illness?   It’s pretty easy!  Just remember 4 basic steps:   clean, separate, cook and chill!

  • Clean hands, surfaces and utensils with soap and warm water
  • Separate meats, poultry, seafood and eggs from raw produce and other ready-to-eat foods
  • Cook foods to the minimum safe temperatures using a meat thermometer
  • Chill raw and prepared foods promptly

All of these steps are discussed in detail on the CDC’s food safety website.  You can also learn more at  which gives families information about latest recalls and other important updates.

By following the simple steps of wash, separate, cook and chill, you’ll be on the right track to protecting yourself and your family from food borne illness.

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